President Obama curled the toes of Republicans and millionaires across America today. Hopefully most of them were wearing flip-flops at the time.
Obama formally announced — can it be formal if he wasn’t wearing a tux and top hat? — a package that cuts $3 trillion off the deficit, saying that it’s not class warfare, it’s math, to generate new revenue to solve the budget crisis.
His proposal would establish a minimum tax rate on millionaires to avoid loopholes, and would make cuts to entitlements and Pentagon spending. Obama said the bill would cut $2 in government spending for every $1 in new revenue.
“We can’t cut our way out of this hole,” he said, adding that there ain’t no chainsaw big enough.
Of course, the de facto millionaire’s tax known as the Buffett Rule is a dragon that will have John Boehner and friends wielding broadaxes to fight.
To us poor folk, asking those with more to pay more is only fair. To the rich folk, such a concept is an utter abomination.
Can’t say that I blame the wealthy. If I were richer than King Farouk, I would dip all us poor folk in seal butter and drop us into a polar bear’s cage rather than put a kink in my opulent lifestyle.
The Eagles and the Falcons teed it up Sunday night in Atlanta and it was a game for body bags. Try as they might to legislate the violence out of the NFL, it still is a blood sport.
To say that both teams played a physical game is like saying the Gestapo played 20 Questions.
The Eagles, trailing by 11 early in the third quarter, scored 21 consecutive points during an eight-minute stretch in that period on a 36-yard Michael Vick TD pass to Jeremy Maclin (13 catches for a career-high 171 yards but a killer drop in the dying moments) and two Shady McCoy (18 carries for 95 yards) touchdown runs to take a 10-point lead into the final quarter.
But then the guy who was ahead at poker ended up bumming cab money home. The Eagles took it on the chin 35-31.
Vick got knocked out of the game with an aching neck and concussion and you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to see that coming. The guy gets hit more than a piñata. Deep in the third quarter Vick was thrown to the turf, got whipped around and his head collided with his right tackle, Todd Herremans. Vick got knocked out by a barroom left you could see coming all the way from Blandon.
The Eagles’ D, so ferocious much of the game, faded like a sick flower in the final quarter as Matty Ice Ryan froze them with his chilling right arm.
Now where for the 1-1 Eagles? Like always, doubts about Vick’s durability follow him and them like a shadow.
Things pretty much have gone into the crapper for Barack Obama of late, but the prez retains his blimpo confidence.
For instance, he echoed a supporter’s wish “that my next inauguration is warmer than the last one.”
Of course, many Republicans look back at Obama’s last inauguration as a cold day in hell.
Obama bringing this up at this juncture just may be dumber than asking your wife why she’s putting on weight.
Granted, Obama has a valid point when he says that “there’s one thing I know for certain: The odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”
Unlike Charlie Sheen, the president isn’t totally disconnected from reality and knows what’s blowing in the wind.
“I know that over the last couple of months there have been Democrats who voiced concerns and nervousness about, well, in this kind of economy,” he related, “aren’t these just huge headwinds in terms of your reelection? But we remain very confident about our ability to win a contest of ideas in 2012.”
After all, Dopey the Dwarf likely could match wits with either Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann.
Once upon a time Joe McGinniss was a respected columnist and author.
But that was then and this is now. Old age or termites or both must have feasted on his brain cells because he has been reduced to a salacious gossip.
McGinniss’ new book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, does a hatchet job on her and that reeks worse than elephant dung.
As you know, I’m not a big fan of seeing Palin sit in the White House. No matter. She certainly doesn’t deserve to have McGinniss rake up old allegations.
Recycling lurid stories about what politicians might or might not have done in their youth definitely is an unnecessary cheap shot. Granted, I know sleaze sells. Which is why we have Murdoch, But that doesn’t make it right.
OK, perhaps Palin wasn’t a saint back in the day. Few of us were.
Just because Palin has become wrapped in the white gauze of the spotlight is no reason for McGinniss to strip her past naked.
I guess McGinniss has to be without sin since he cast a stone at her.
Barack Obama just may be fading like a sick flower. He’s more and more looking like a guy caught in an immense violent wave, trying to hang on for dear life.
But that is becoming more difficult than opening a contrary bottle of wine for our rubber-legged president.
Here are two more factors that may provide more push for Obama’s long fall.
Democrats had wakeup call this morning. They now live in a political reality in which the Jewish vote can’t be taken for granted anymore.
In the wake of a New York City special election where a Republican won in the heart of urban Jewish Democratic power, the shocking result has triggered fire alarms that Obama’s frosty relationship with Israel could torch the party’s hammerlock on a key constituency.
Then there is our own dear state of Pennsylvania, which just may wind up making Obama fold like a carpenter’s rule in the 2012 election.
Pennsylvania Republican state legislators have a diabolical scheme that, if GOPers in other states follow their lead, could KO Obama — not because of the vote count, but because of new rules.
The PA Republicans want to play with the electoral college in a way that no previous legislature in America has dared to do since the Civil War.
Each state gets to determine how its electoral votes are allocated. Currently 48 states and Washington D.C. employ a winner-take-all system in which the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state gets all of its electoral votes.
Under the PA Republican plan — which has been endorsed by top Republicans in both houses of our state legislature as well as Gov. Tom Corbett — our state would change from this system to one where each congressional district gets its own electoral vote. Two electoral votes — one for each of the state’s two senators — would go to the statewide winner.
This could cost Obama dearly. The GOP controls both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s mansion and is redrawing congressional district maps so the 2012 elections likely will have 12 safe GOP seats compared to just 6 safe Democratic seats.
Under the Republican plan, if the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight.
A change in fortune for Obama that would be more uncivil than life without cigarettes and a winter vacation in Hawaii.
It’s all about the venue, obviously.
Rick Perry was a human piñata at last night’s CNN-Tea Party Debate in Tampa, as Mitt Romney and everybody else on stage took shots at the Texas governor.
No matter. While Romney, once about as nimble as a dairy cow on his feet, put on a virtuoso performance and was especially effective when barbecueing Perry over Social Security, the crowd yawned.
Perry can play to his natural constituency like Liberace once tickled the ivories. The crowd loved him. Forget that Romney may be the better candidate. Perry’s got the charisma, and appeal trumps reason. It’s sort of like today’s music. What good is a song if it has a melody and lyrics that make sense?
I will say this about Perry: the guy does have swagger, a dude who’s not afraid to step on a cockroach in his bare feet. And he can take a punch. As Romney fired verbal volleys at him, Perry looked on with amused disdain.
You gotta love that.
Remember the good old days when everybody smoked cigarettes, nobody wore seat belts, English wasn’t a foreign language, and there was an actual middle class alive and well in America?
With the middle class becoming dinosaur extinct, corporations as well as the good ladies of the evening are noticing the prosperity gap and scaling back their middle-market product lines.
The richest percent of Americans control 84 percent of the wealth, and the 400 richest Americans have a higher net worth than the full bottom 50 percent of households.
Little wonder that manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, the household-goods giant responsible for everything from Charmin and Old Spice to Tide, are concentrating their efforts on luxury and bargain items, and putting less emphasis on products targeting the disappearing middle class.
So the rich may put their pants on one leg at a time like you and me (or is it I? — grammar teachers please check in), but they do use a better grade of toilet paper. Of course, those fabulously elite 400 wealth barons likely use hundred-dollar bills instead.
I must say that today’s opening minutes of the season for the Eagles on the manicured landscape of St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome certainly were a gagger. Their run defense was getting gashed worse than Jack the Ripper’s victims and their OL had more holes in it than James Caan in the first Godfather movie.
But matters in both sectors did improve as the game unfolded. Then there was the Terrific Trinity of Michael Vick, Shady McCoy and DeSean Jackson. That threesome had spectacular moments as Philly prevailed 31-13.
Vick did uncork some stupid throws, and his touch wasn’t surgeon-scalpel sharp. But he was vintage Vick in countering the Rams’ blitz with his legs. The guy moves quicker than a Third World tyrant feeling with booty before the coup. Yet he still gets hit too frequently. No wonder worries about his health always are sprinkled with large fingers of doubt. If his wheels come off, the wheels may come off the Eagles’ season.
McCoy was acting very zippy, flashing for 122 yards, including a 49-yard jaunt to finish matters off. He also had a 7-yard scoring reception.
Jackson, he of the pauper contract, still makes Adam’s apples jiggle with his heroics. He snagged 6 balls for 102 yards and a TD. And his numbers could have ballooned if he hadn’t dropped what should have been an 88-yard touchdown pass.
An encouraging development was the consistently punishing pass rush mustered by the Eagles. They had five sacks, two by Jason Babin.
It was a crunching game, with the Rams and their medical staff getting brutalized. I kept waiting for Alan Alda and his M*A*S*H unit to show up.
Yes, it wasn’t a crisp performance by the Eagles. But in a season of such promise coupled with nagging concerns, it was a good start.
Tomorrow is 9/11, ten years after.
The commentaries, retrospectives, meditations, memories and piles of stenography are everywhere as we all recall and relive seeing the Twin Towers fall, which left all of us with pupils the size of silver dollars on that fateful day.
And now we all fret over reports that al-Qaeda may want to celebrate the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001 by trying to incinerate us again.
So did 9/11 change America? From my perspective, 9/11 certainly has had a profound impact on America. But I don’t believe it has changed our core. We once again proved that our mettle is not crystal-chinned. We truly are the home of the brave, of the best and the brightest, willing to engage in a brutal endgame struggle with our enemies. People who believe otherwise live in a place of fantasia.
But 9/11 has cost America dearly, in lives and treasure. There were all those lives lost on 9/11 and all those subsequent lives lost in the ensuing U.S. military adventurism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And 9/11 has been pulverizing to our budget. Our wars in the Middle East have had a mind-blowing $2.6 trillion price tag so far. And the total nut on homeland security so far has been a staggering $628 billion, not counting all the shoelaces that had to be purchased to replace those worn out from constantly taking off our shoes at airports.
The world spins on its axis, so something always is changing. Terrorism, unless something catastrophic blows up in our faces, seems to be less of a threat these days than destructive weather patterns and the global threat of emerging infectious diseases.
But the biggest bogeyman on our horizon just may be China, a rising economic and military power. It’s never good to have all that clout in an authoritarian state with a yen for cold-blooded foreign policy.
The rising imperatives of a robust China seem certain to cast an ever-growing grim shadow on America.
Don’t let your guard down, Uncle Sam! We don’t want to add any more days of infamy to our calendar.
The White House today insisted that the president’s new jobs bill be considered as a single piece of legislation when it is formally introduced next week. Like that’s gonna happen. I’ve got a better chance of walking on the moon in flip-flops.
Republicans are going to take pruning shears to it and opt to consider it in components.
Tarantino bloodbaths have been less gory.
Up to his clavicles in desperation, President Obama kicked off his road trip today to campaign for his $447 billion — dare I say? — stimulus package.
By dumb luck he was in Richmond, which is in Eric Cantor’s district. Pure coincidence I’m sure. Up next is Ohio, John Boehner’s home state. Again, who knew?
Speaking of Boehner, he clapped only twice after Obama’s speech last night, the statutory minimum for being House Speaker.
And was it just me, but did Boehner’s eyes look as glazed as a Krispy Kreme?
By the way, Wall Street slumped more than an old man today, in part because investors are more skeptical than vice cops about how much of Obama’s plan will make through Congress before everybody in America is out of work.